Like anything and everything around us, the world of marketing has changed over the last few decades and it continues to evolve with every passing day. As business and the economic environments become more competitive, the importance of effective marketing has only multiplied. What’s more important to understand is that today marketing is no more limited to mere propagation of information to a wide audience. In fact, marketing has evolved to become as much science as it is arts.
While the world of marketing is big and diverse and even hundreds of books may fail to fully cover each aspect, it is pertinent for all marketers, businesspersons, and entrepreneurs to have a thorough understanding of lead generation, which has become a core concept in modern-day marketing. So, what exactly is a lead and what does it really mean to generate a lead for any business?
What is a lead?
A lead is simply a person or an entity that either has indicated interest in your product or service previously or possesses the demographics, interests or other traits that match with your usual customer base. In simple terms, a lead is someone with whom you have higher chances of closing a business deal as compared to an average individual who is a complete stranger to your business.
What is Lead Generation?
Similarly, lead generation is the process, which converts an average individual in the given population, usually a complete stranger, into someone who is interested in your product or service. In the real world, a majority of marketing campaigns revolve around lead generation. It may seem to be a straightforward task yet a big portion of marketers fail to achieve the intended level of efficiency and effectiveness in their campaigns, primarily because of using outdated strategies and lack of integration in their marketing campaigns.
However, it does not have to be like that for everyone since we have compiled a list of eight of the most important lead generation strategies and critical points that, if followed, can play a crucial role in ensuring better value for money and time for your next lead generation campaign.
8 Lead Generation Strategies
1. Shortlist Your Campaign Objectives
One of the earliest things to do in any lead generation strategy is to shortlist and pinpoint your campaign objectives. Maximizing leads or making over a hundred sales may not be good objectives for most campaigns. Instead, focus on the following questions and try to come up with achievable, measurable and precise objectives in the case of each question below:
- Who is going to be your target audience?
- How will your audience reach you?
- What do you want your audience to do as a result of your campaign?
- What is your call to action in this particular campaign and is it aligned with overall marketing strategy?
- How are you going to follow-up once a person goes for your call to action?
- Is recording and evaluation system in place and effective?
- Are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) defined?
- What are the critical success factors of the campaign?
Based on individual campaigns, you may also want to add more questions and seek their answers for better campaign management and desirable results.
2. Lead Magnet
With good graphics, catchy titles and enough ad spending, it is easier to let customers visit you. It may be your website, blog, social media page or even your physical location. However, most campaigns fail to convert visitors into leads, due to various reasons. A lead magnet is an incentive, an offer, a slogan or a sub-campaign, which binds visitors into leads. For example, offering a free product trial in exchange for contact information. Make sure you have an adequate lead magnet in place in order to multiply the number of generated leads.
3. Choice of Media Outlets
While we will discuss some of the individual media outlets under upcoming headings, it is important to shortlist the most suitable media option. In most cases, it would be a waste of money to run any lead generation campaign in all available media outlets, such as television, radio, print media, social media, and websites. However, a carefully chosen combination of available options can go a long way in helping you to achieve your desired results.
This can be one of the most important stages and you need to ensure that you have necessary data available to make informed choices. The choice may simply come down to the preferred media by your intended audience, for example, senior citizens spend most of their time in watching certain television channels while teenagers prefer spending their time on social media.
4. Social Media
Nothing presents a better marketing and lead generation opportunity than modern social media platforms. Not only are they cheap as compared to most other marketing media, but social media platforms are also among the most effective tools when it comes to inviting the audience towards the required call to action. Platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can be used free of cost by creating a business page and regularly updating it with relevant posts. Similarly, these social media platforms also provide an opportunity to use targeted ads for the target audience that matches geographical location and preferred interests and culture in order to maximize lead generation prospects.
5. Integrated Marketing
Integration of marketing across all media platforms has become immensely important today. Make all efforts to ensure that your prospective leads are getting a seamless experience across all marketing channels, such as Facebook, website and customer service through phone, email and chat support.
6. Product Trials
Depending upon business nature, product trials can come very handy towards lead generation and closing business deals. Product trials can have diverse applications, ranging from the digital world to conventional business. It is common for application software to provide a multiple-day trial period to their leads. Similarly, conventional business, such as restaurants, offer food trial in order to attract more leads. If the product is good enough, such a strategy can result in generating a considerable increase in leads and eventually sales.
Despite all the negativity that surrounds email marketing and lead generation, emails can be a very useful medium to reach potential leads and convert them into customers. However, care needs to be taken that emails are adequately articulated and free of clichés to save them from landing in spam folder automatically.
Nothing sells better than a good story. People love to hear stories and become part of them. Remember the world-renowned Apple ad that did not even talk about the product they offered but only shared the company’s enthusiasm to change the world for better. Incorporate stories into your campaign but make sure your product or service supports the story. A story can be as simple as a motivation to care for others. When people associate themselves with your story, they become an automatic lead and eventually your loyal customer.